Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Mother Committed Herself to Help her Son

Lacey Lipe, a mother in Columbia, S.C. has an exceptionally difficult job. Even after she was forced to quit her day job, her job as a mother had her working over-time. Her strong 18-year-old son, was physically and mentally too much for Lipe to handle, especially on her own. As a single mother to a child with bipolar disorder and autism, she grew afraid of his strength and violent tendencies.

South Carolina has an underfunded state mental health system, that would not help treat Lipe's son. After years of Lipe attempting to receive care for her son, she placed matters into her own hands. She committed herself into a hospital complaining of post-traumatic stress disorder in January, which was a year after her son's house-based services ended. Lipe knew if she committed herself into a hospital, the state authorities would help provide her son with one of the state's residential treatment beds. Lipe knew the only way to have her son committed was if she committed herself first.
This article reveals the severity of the affects that the cuts to mental health budgets have on families who have children with mental illness. In the past two years, mental health budgets have been down $1.8 billion across the country. Lipe, who lives in a state where the mental health budgets have been cut by 23 percent, knew committing herself into a psychiatric ward was her only choice.

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